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This is volume 4 in a aeries of nine 
booklets- The Assembly of Captive 
European Nations undertook the publica- 
tion of the series in response to 
numerous demands. Also, since much of 
(he existing literature on East-Central 
Europe has been written from the 
nul siilcr's point of view, there seems 
in be n need for Informative material 
bearing the stamp of authenticity anU 
first Imnd experience. Bach booklet 
hai been prepared by experts of the 
respect! vi National Commltteei 



Alexander Kiitt and Leonhard Vahter 







Prepared by the Committee for a Free Estonia 






1. The Origins.— 2. The Teutonic Knights,— 3. Battle- 
ground of Many Nations. — i. Under Russian Rule, 1721- 
1918. ... . 7 


1. The Struggle for Independence.— 2. Domestic Issues. 
— 3. Soviet Encroachments. — 4. The Soviet Takeover. 
—5. A Change of Captors: German Occupation. — 6. 
Again the Soviets: 1944 13 


1. Mass Deportations, — 2. Attack on Religion.— 3. 
Attack on Education.— 4. Attack on Estonian Culture. 23 


1. Agriculture.— 2. Industry,— 3. The Real Income.— 
4. Distribution of the Social Product. — 5. Conclusion. 33 





ESTONIA, or Eesti as it is known in Estonian, is situated on the 
northeastern Baltic coast between the 57th and 59th parallels and 
the 23rd and 27th East longitudes. The nation's border is marked on 
the north by the Gulf of Finland, and on the west by the Baltic 
Sea and the Gulf of Riga. To the south lies Latvia, while to the 
east the border runs along Lake Peipsi and the Soviet Union's 
western boundary. 

While small by U.S. standards, Estonia's 18,370 sq. miles, or 
47,549 sq. km. (roughly the size of Maryland and Massachusetts 
combined), make it larger than Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, or 
the Netherlands, Part of this area consists of more than 818 islands, 
the largest of which are Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, and Muhumaa in the 
Baltic Sea. 

Climatically, Estonia lies in the temperate zone. But since it is 
a relatively flat, open country (the highest elevation, Suur Munamagi 
Mountain, is only 1,056 ft.), its climate is tempered by the Baltic 
Sea. Hence, average temperatures in Estonia are considerably higher 
than those on the same geographic latitude farther to the east. The 
vegetation in Estonia resembles that of the temperate zone of Europe, 

According to the 1959 Soviet census, the population of Estonia 
numbers 1,197,000. Of this total, about 74 per cent are Estonians, 
21 per cent are of Russian origin, and the remaining 5 per cent a 
mixture of Finns, Ukrainians, etc. 

The capital city is Tallinn, founded in the early part of the 13th 
century. Other well-known cities include Tartu, Narva, Parnu, and 
Rakvere; all of these, as well as a number of others, date back to 
the Middle Ages. 


1. The Origins 

A CCORDING to prevailing views, the Estonian people, as well as 
**■ the Finns and Hungarians, stem from Finno-Ugric tribes that 
once lived along the Volga and Kama rivers of Asia. Migrations or 
military expeditions brought bands of these people to the west* where 
in some instances they settled and formed communities of their own. 

There is little precise data about the Estonian contingent of these 
groups or about their reasons for settling the area now known as 
Estonia. We do know that the event took place thousands of years 
before Christ. The Roman historian Tacitus, A.D. 55-120, described 
Estonia as an established "national area" in his Histories. 

Historical evidence becomes more abundant for the period beginn- 
ing around A.D. 1,000. Archeological and other findings indicate 
that by this time the Estonians had formed territorial units called 
maakond (counties), governed by elected elders. So far as we know, 
these counties were independent of one another and banded together 
only for common defense. 

This loosely knit group of counties soon came under formidable 
external fire. In 1193 the Pope proclaimed that crusades against 
heathens should be conducted not only in the Holy Land but in 
the north as well. As a result, various crusading campaigns marched 
on the Baltic area. It was not, however, until a Papal Bull in A.D. 
1200 elevated the crusade in the North to equal rank with those 
in the Holy Land that these campaigns gained prestige and power. 

2* The Teutonic Knights 

Shortly after this Bull was made public, a German military order 
of knights known as the Fratres Militiae Ckristi (Brethren of the 

Sword) was formed expressly for northern military campaigns. 
Under the leadership of Bishop Albert, the Fratres fought the 
Estonians for nearly two decades. In 1217, the Fratres defeated the 
Estonians in a hard fought major battle near the town of Viljandi. 
By 1227 the crusaders had captured all of Estonia. 

Despite their constant reinforcements and superior weapons, the 
crusaders might not have succeeded without aid from unexpected 
quarters. In 1219, for example, Denmark's King Valdemar II invaded 
Estonia from the north and was able to establish a bridgehead. On 
the captured territory Valdemar built the fortified castle "Tallinn" 
— site of today's capital — from which he conducted further military 

Similarly, in the summer of 1220, Sweden launched a campaign 
on Estonia's northwestern border. The expedition proved to be 
short-lived, as Estonians from the island of Saarernaa routed the 
invaders. But the constant invasions from virtually all sides so 
weakened the defenders that the Fratres at last prevailed. The fact 
that Estonia had no central government to direct and coordinate 
her defense also contributed to her defeat. 

Once the Estonians succumbed, their land was partitioned among 
the warring factions. The northern area was taken over by Denmark; 
the southern, by the Fratres, who eventually merged with the Order 
of Teutonic Knights. The remaining area already belonged to 
various Bishops, notably those of Tartu and Saaremaa-Laanemaa. 

In 1346 Denmark transferred its Estonian holdings to the Teutonic 
Order. With this move, all of Old Livonia, as the Baltic area 
encompassing Estonia came to be known, legally became part of the 
Holy Roman Empire, Thereafter, for almost 200 years, this area 
was controlled by Roman Catholic bishops and the military Order. 

At the time of the takeover by the crusaders many maalcond 
(counties), which had not surrendered unconditionally, made agree- 
ments with the conquerors for rights guaranteeing a measure of 
freedom for Estonian peasants. Thus, even though members of the 
German Orders and Bishops turned large areas of land into personal 
fiefs, the Estonian peasants' lot did not change appreciably. In 1343, 
however, the peasants launched a revolt, which was quickly and 
ruthlessly suppressed. Thereafter the German Orders ignored their 
former "agreements" and the peasants' lot became increasingly 

Peasants reacted to these harsh terms by seeking to change land- 
lords or by escaping to towns. Towns, unlike their surrounding 
areas, were autonomous units governed by elected councils (Rat) 
and mayors (Bur germeister). Within them artisans and merchants 
were organized into guilds. The important factor was that within the 
towns the population, made up not only of Estonians but of Germans 
as well, was free. 


So many peasants escaped into towns that the landed aristocracy 
became alarmed lest they lose all their workers. As a result, the 
Landstag — a council of elected peers charged with administering 
the country — declared the peasants gtebae adscripts, or bound to 
the land for life. And thus bound to the land, Estonian peasants 
held this low status until well into the 19th century. 

During these early years of Teutonic rule many towns sprang up 
in Estonia. Except for Narva, all of the major centers belonged to 
the Hanseatic League, and carried on vigorous trade with the Russian 
commercial center of Novgorod. Many of these Estonian towns became 
very wealthy. Some even fortified themselves and became powerful 
military bastions in their own right. 

3, The Battleground of Many Nations 

In the 15th century the sway of the Teutonic Order over Old 
Livonia was challenged. The Protestant reformation was sweeping 
across Europe. In its wake the power of the Catholic Church in 
Estonia became weakened. At the same time two aggressive powers 
bordering the Baltic area — Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian State 
— were on the rise. 

As the power of the Teutonic Order waned, Estonia became the 
battleground for a long destructive war involving the Order, Sweden,. 
Denmark, the Polish-Lithuanian State and Russia. This so-called 
Livonian War, marked by many changes of luck and partners, lasted 
for a quarter of a century (1558-1583) and resulted in the total 
destruction of the Teutonic Order by the Russian army in 1560. 
By the end of the war, however, Russia was expelled from Estonia 
and the country remained divided between the three warring states: 
Sweden, the Polish-Lithuanian State and Denmark. Sweden next 
engaged the Polish-Lithuanian State and wrested control of southern 
Estonia (the Altmark Peace Treaty, 1629). Finally, by ousting the 
Danes from the islands of Saaremaa and Muhu (Peace Treaty of 
Bromsebro, 1645), Sweden became the undisputed ruler of Estonia. 

Yet Sweden's sway over Estonia proved to be short-lived. Russia 
continued to. battle the Swedes and, unable to make headway alone,.. 
allied herself with Poland and Denmark. In 1700 this triumvirate 
launched the military campaign that has since become known as 
the Great Northern War. The result of that war was the complete 
destruction of Swedish power in the Baltic by 1721. 

The Nystad Treaty, ending that conflict, made Estonia a province 
of the Russian Empire. At last Russia had won her "window" to the 
west — but little more. Because of her "scorched earth" methods 
of waging war the province she acquired was a vast wasteland. As. 

the Russian general Sheremetyev put it in his report to the Tsar: 
"There is nothing left to destroy; not a cock crows from Lake 
Peipus to the Gulf of Riga." 

4. Under Russian Rule, 1721-1918 

Russian rule wrought few changes in Estonia's social order. The 
Nystad Treaty between Sweden and Russia allowed the German 
nobility in Estonia to retain most of its feudal privileges. The nobility 
was allowed, for example, to retain its government (Landtag) and 
its rights over the peasants. 

In fact, as far as the peasants were concerned, things became 
worse. The few remaining free peasants were evicted from their land 
and made the property of the large estates, usually owned by German 
nobility. It was not until the 19th century that these crushing 
restrictions were lifted. Through a series of laws enacted in Russia, 
the peasants were freed from serfdom only in 1816-1819. 

The latter part of the 19th century saw the emergence of a 
■"national awakening" in Estonia marked by spiritual and cultural 
ferment and a growing sense of national identity. Although the first 
Estonian book was published in 1535, it was not until the second 
half of the 19th century that a strong, distinctly Estonian, literary 
movement came into its own. The beginning of this movement is 
marked by the publication of Kalevipoeg (Kalev's Son), a rich collec- 
tion of Estonian folklore compiled by F. R. Kreutzwald. This was 
soon followed by yet another collection of Estonian folklore published 
by Pastor Jakob Hurt, These collections were followed by many novels 
.and books of short stories with a clearly nationalistic flavor. 

By 1871, when the Estonian Literary Society (Eesti Kirjameeste 
Sells) was formed, a clearly "Estonian" cultural renaissance was in 
full swing. Newspapers with "pro-Estonian" editorial platforms 
appeared. Professional and amateur theatre groups were formed 
across the nation. Music, again with a distinct Estonian flair, was 
being written and performed. Orchestras, choirs and bands, both 
amateur and professional, were formed in many communities. 

It was during this period that the now traditional Song Festivals 
were started. Many choirs with thousands of singers from all parts 
of Estonia would gather, usually at five-year intervals, to give 
performances and sing together. Often these festivals became exub- 
erant manifestations of Estonian patriotism and self-confidence. The 
festivals are still being held under the Soviets. Initially the Com- 
munists, who viewed the festivals as a bourgeois enterprise, banned 
them. This decision proved so unpopular that the Soviets had to 


Stimulated by the arts, this rising spirit of nationalism soon 
spread to other areas. Estonians, for instance, began to press the 
Tsar for greater political freedom and autonomy. Some of these 
efforts had good results. Estonians won a more active role in govern- 
ing their country. A less apparent result of such pressure, but one 
which proved very important later, was that it diminished the long 
standing power of the Germans in Estonia. 

The height of this national ferment was reached during the Russian 
Revolution of 1905. As in Russia, a rebellion erupted in Estonia. 
It was brutally crushed by tsarist forces. But despite its failure the 
revolt in Estonia intensified the feeling of nationalism and the 
desire for freedom. As a result, a cultural movement called "Young 
Estonia" was formed. Within it many dedicated young Estonians 
worked to free their country. 

Through the arts and through political pressure, Estonians establish- 
ed a sense of national identity. The uprising of 1905 gave them a 
foundation of dedication and direction, Estonians waited for the 
next chance to free their country. 




IN FEBRUARY of 1917, a revolution erupted in Russia. Tsarist rule 
collapsed and a liberal provisional government took over. National 
groups long under tsarist rule, including the Estonians, began to 
demand autonomy. 

Russia's provisional government assented to many of these demands. 
On March 30, 1917 (April 12, 1917 according to the Gregorian 
Calendar) it granted autonomy to Estonia. Under the provisions of 
a law passed by the Russian government, Estonia now had the 
right to elect a diet (parliament) and to administer her internal 
affairs. A democratic national election was promptly held in Estonia. 
The first Estonian diet convened on July 1, 1917. 

But the fury of the Russian revolution had not yet subsided. 
Again guns rang out and again the Russian government toppled. 
On October 25, 1917 {November 7 according to the Gregorian Calen- 
dar) Bolsheviks led by V. I. Lenin seized power. Fighting still 
continued in various parts of Russia and there was no assurance 
that the Communist victory was permanent. To minimize his diffi- 
culties until the Bolsheviks had complete control in Russia, Lenin 
proclaimed (November 17, 1917) that his regime recognized the 
"right of Russia's peoples to free self-determination — including 
secession and establishment of independent states." 

On the surface the statement was all that Estonia could have 
hoped for. Yet many Estonians questioned the sincerity of the 
new Russian government. The events that followed speak for them- 
selves — and for the duplicity of the Communists, 

1. The Struggle for Independence 

In January of 1918, Russo-German peace talks at Brest-Litovsk 
collapsed. The German army, halted near Riga during the negotia- 


tions, resumed its drive into Estonia. Confronted by the impending 1 
success of the German advance, the Estonian Diet made two major 
decisions: (1) proclaimed Estonia an independent state, and (2) 
appointed a special Rescue Committee to make the Diet's decision 
public in due course. This the Committee did on February 24, 1918, 
less than a month after the Diet had voted the decision. 

Meanwhile, since the Germans had already occupied Estonia and 
prohibited the Estonian government to meet, members of the Diet 
went into hiding. Prime Minister Konstantin Pats, however, was 
arrested by the German High Command, 

By the autumn of 1918 the Allies had succeeded in defeating 
the German Army in the West. As a result, German troops in 
Estonia began a retreat. On the heels of the departing Germans, 
in direct violation of Lenin's proclamation on self-determination, 
Soviet soldiers surged into Estonia. 

For Estonia the situation was desperate. The fledgling Estonian 
government had had no time to organize any military defense. In 
fact, it had barely emerged out of hiding from German occupying 
forces. But the events called for a quick action. 

The government's first step was to organize an emergency resist- 
ance force to delay the Communist advance. In the meantime, the 
government hurriedly began building up a regular army. The steps 
were taken none too soon. By the time the Soviet advance could 
be halted, nearly two thirds of Estonia was under Communist control 
and the Soviet outposts were within 17 miles of Tallinn. 

At this moment of highest danger, the freshly organized Estonian 
army embarked upon a vigorous counter-attack to gain the initiative 
and to expel the enemy from the country. The arrival in Tallinn 
of 2000 Finnish volunteers to fight side by side with their Estonian 
kinsmen for the independence of Estonia helped to raise the fighting 
spirit of the nation. The resistance of the Soviet troops was quickly 
broken and in less than two months the country was cleared of 
the aggressor's troops, though the war was to continue a year longer. 
Meanwhile, a new enemy emerged in the south and involved 
Estonia for some time in a two-front war. In Latvia, a part of 
the German army had organized itself into the so-called "Iron 
Division" and Landeswehr. On the pretext of fighting the Com- 
munists they overthrew the elected Latvian government, occupied 
Riga, and began massing troops along Estonia's boundary. In late 
May of 1919 the Germans launched an attack on Estonian border 

This time, however, the Germans were facing an altogether 
different Estonia. Seasoned by the campaign against the Com- 
munists, the Estonian army was now a powerful force. After fierce 
battles the Germans were decisively defeated on June 23, 1919 near 



the Latvian town of Vonnu. All fighting was ended by an armistice 
signed on July 3rd of the same year. 

Meanwhile, all subsequent Soviet efforts to recapture Estonia, 
launched from the Soviet Union proper during the German attack, 
had been repulsed. Finally, after 14 months of war, the Communists 
ended military aggression by signing a peace treaty with Estonia 
on February 2, 1920. The terms of that treaty proclaim that the 
Soviet Union "unreservedly recognises the independence and auto- 
nomy of the State of Estonia, and voluntarily renounces for all 
times all rights of sovereignty held by Russia over the Estonian 
people ..." 

2. Domestic Issues 

Even while the War of Liberation—as the battle against the 
Soviets and Germans came to be known— was still in process, Estonia 
was already grappling with its non-military problems. Early in 
1919 a plebiscite was held and a Constituent Assembly elected. The 
Assembly had two major problems confronting it. An immediate 
solution had to be found for the antiquated agrarian system. Also, 
a permanent Constitution had to be drafted in order that a govern- 
ment structure could be formed. 

^ On October 10, 1919, the Assembly passed a sweeping land reform 
bill. Large estates of the nobility were expropriated and divided 
among landless peasants. The former landholders were allowed to 
keep 50 hectares of land and were compensated for all expropriated 
holdings. And, on December 20, 1920, a Constitution drafted by the 
Assembly went into effect. 

The first Estonian Constitution was patterned predominantly on 
that of Switzerland. The Parliament consisted of one chamber of 
deputies. The functions of the president were merged in the office 
of prime minister (State Elder) who was responsible to the legislat- 
ure. The State Elder and his cabinet of ministers had to resign 
if the Parliament failed to give him a vote of confidence on any 

The Constitution further provided all national minorities of 
3,000 or more people (Germans, Russians, Jews, and Swedes) with 
"cultural autonomy." All of these groups were entitled to maintain 
schools in their native languages, and to use their language in 
official transactions with governmental offices and courts. The cost 
of maintaining these "native language 5 * schools was absorbed by the 
central Estonian government through allocations on a unit basis. 

The government structure provided by the Constitution, though 
adequate as an interim measure, proved much too weak to cope 
with serious problems. When the world-wide economic crisis of the 


1930's hit Estonia, the government was unable to pass legislation 
strong enough to deal with the mounting problems. 

Cabinet after cabinet toppled and soon it became clear that a 
new government structure was needed. 

At the agitation of ant i -democratic forces, a new Constitution was 
adopted in October of 1933. This time the pendulum of power 
swung the other way. The executive branch was made so much 
stronger than the legislative that it endangered the democratic 

To end the continuing political turmoil which threatened to throw 
the country into complete chaos the executive branch took radical 
steps. All political parties were banned, Parliament was recessed, 
and until 1938 the country was ruled by executive decrees. During 
this political lull a new National Assembly was elected to re-examine 
the Constitution and to devise a more balanced form of government. 
As a result, in 1937 Estonia had its third Constitution in less than 
twenty years. 

The third Constitution called for two legislative chambers. The 
"first chamber" ( ' Riigivolikogu) , elected on a popular basis, had 80 
delegates. The second chamber (Riiginouhogu) had 40 delegates 
representing municipalities, various trades, cultural establishments, 
labor, the two largest religious denominations, etc. The executive 
branch was to be headed by a President of the Republic. National 
minorities in Estonia retained the privileges they had been granted 
under the first Constitution. 

In accordance with the new Constitution, elections were held and 
a new parliament convened in April, 1938. Konstantin Pats (previous 
State Elder) was elected President. For once it appeared that the 
government structure was sufficiently stabilized. Moreover, the 
economic situation was improving rapidly, and it seemed that "good 
years'* were just around the corner for Estonia. 

Unfortunately expectations of a calm and prosperous future were 
to be short-lived. The dark clouds of World War II were already 
gathering on the horizon. And the Soviet Union, the restless giant 
to the East, was again eyeing this prosperous little country. 

3. Soviet Encroachments 

By the Tartu Peace Treaty of February 2, 1920, the Soviet Union 
had renounced all rights over Estonia "for all times." Subsequently, 
Estonia was recognized as an independent nation by most other 
countries throughout the world. In September of 1922 Estonia was 
admitted to the League of Nations. 

Estonia sought to bolster her independent status through a "good 
neighbor" policy — especially toward the U.S.S.R. On February 9, 
1929, for example, Estonia joined with Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, 
Romania, and the Soviet Union in signing an agreement to adhere 
to the Paris Treaty (Kellogg-Briand Pact of August 27, 1928). 
According to that treaty, each nation pledged itself to the "renuncia- 
tion of war as an instrument of national policy," Furthermore, by 
the Treaty of Non-Aggression and Peaceful Settlement of Disputes 
between Estonia and the U.S.S.R. (signed in Moscow on May 4, 1932) > 
both nations undertook to "refrain from any act of aggression or 
any violent measures" directed against each other. Both treaties 
were supplemented by the Conciliation Convention between Estonia 
and the Soviet Union (signed June 16, 1932) as well as by a multi- 
lateral Convention for the Definition of Aggression signed in London 
on July 3, 1933. 

Despite these treaties the Soviet Union posed as much of a threat 
to Estonia's freedom as if there had not been a single accord. For 
example, on December 1, 1924, at a time when the Soviet-Estonian 
Treaty was supposedly in effect, Communist commando troops 
(assembled in secret) launched a pre-dawn attack against Estonian 
government installations (military barracks, police stations, govern- 
ment offices, radio and telephone centers). Estonian government 
troops repulsed the attack but not before much blood had been shed 
and incalculable damage sustained. 

An investigation of the incident revealed the following: (1) The 
decision and the plans to overthrow Estonia by a coup had been made 
in the Soviet Union. (2) The Soviet Union had smuggled most of 
the street fighters and commandos into Estonia. (3) The Soviet 
Union had provided the weapons used by the raiders. 

The investigation also revealed that the leading group of the 
commandos had counted on receiving help from the rather small 
Communist party within Estonia. They had also expected help and 
sympathy from Estonian workers. While the former did provide 
some assistance, the Estonian workers refused to side with the 

The incident clearly showed Estonians the extent to which the 
Soviets would go to repossess Estonia. The treaties signed by Estonia 
and the U.S.S.R. after the raid of 1924 did not indicate a Soviet 
change in attitude. If anything, they bound the Soviet Union's hands 
against any overt aggression, i.e. a frontal attack, but did not, as 
events proved, curb their imperialist appetite. 

Adolf Hitler's agressive moves during the late 1930's provided just 
the kind of international crisis the Soviets needed for action. During 
the summer of 1939, France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union 
were holding talks on ways and means to curb Hitler's sallies. The 



Soviets demanded that the U.S.S.R. be given a "guarantee" to extend 
her power over the Baltic region. Neither Britain nor France would 
agree, and the negotiations soon collapsed. 

Failing to realize her expansionist designs through barter with 
Great Britain and France, the Soviet Union made a bargain with 
Germany. On August 23, 19S9, Molotov and Eibbentrop signed a 
non-aggression treaty between the U.S.S.R. and Germany. In a secret 
protocol of this treaty Estonia, Latvia, part of Lithuania, Finland, 
and certain areas of Eastern Europe were placed under "Soviet 

On the basis of this secret protocol, the Soviet Union summoned 
special delegations from each of the above nations to Moscow in 
September of 1939. There Molotov, the presiding Soviet official, 
forced Estonia to sign a "Mutual Assistance Treaty" with the Soviet 
Union, The Estonian delegation, which resisted signing the treaty, 
was warned by Molotov "not to compel the Soviet Union to use force 
in order to achieve its aims." 

Molotov was not bluffing. At the time of the Moscow talks, units 
of the Soviet Army were being concentrated at the Estonian border 
with orders to cross it. Only when the "treaty" was signed did 
Molotov issue orders — i n the presence of the Estonian 
d e 1 e g a t i o n — to halt the movement of Soviet troops. Similar 
treaties were forced on Latvia and Lithuania. Finland refused to 
be coerced into such an agreement and was brutally attacked by 
the Soviet Union in November of 1939. For this aggressive action, 
the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations. 

Under the terms of the imposed agreement, Estonia was forced 
to allow the Soviet Union to station 25,000 Soviet soldiers, as well 
as special air force and naval units in Estonia. The treaty included 
the following clause: "The present act may in no way impair the 
sovereign rights of the contracting parties or, especially, their 
economic system or political structure." 

But not even a year since the signing of the treaty had passed 
when the Soviet Union violated it. On June 16, 1940, the Soviets 
presented Estonia with an ultimatum, based on unfounded charges, 
calling for total capitulation. More Soviet troops were brought into 
Estonia. Within a matter of days the entire nation was completely 
occupied. Latvia and Lithuania shared the same fate. 

But even this total control was not enough for the Soviets. A. 
Zhdanov, a close friend of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and 
a member of the Politburo, was sent to Tallinn to stage a Com- 
munist "revolution" and to sovietize Estonia. 

On the night of June 20, 1940, the Estonian Central Council of 
Labor Unions Building in Tallinn was taken over by force, the 
CounciFs legitimate leaders having been either imprisoned or intimi- 


dated into cooperation by Soviet secret police. The building was 
then turned into a staging ground for the "revolution," 

The following day a "demonstration" was held in Tallinn to 
display the people's "anger" at the "bourgeois government" and to 
demand its replacement. The crowd at the demonstration consisted of 
Russians from Soviet army bases, criminals released from prisons, 
and a handful of Estonian Communists. The crowd's "enthusiasm" 
was augmented by strategically placed Soviet tanks. 

By Soviet standards it was a splendid demonstration. The follow- 
ing day, June 21, 1940, a puppet government — taking orders from 
Zhdanov— took over. Estonia's hard-earned freedom had come to 
an end. 

4, The Soviet Takeover 

To the outside world it may have appeared that each event follow- 
ing this sham revolution, was an act of the people themselves. The 
puppet government of Estonia declared time and again that it was 
working for the independence and welfare of the nation. But under 
the guise of these slogans, the government was rapidly carrying 
out Zhdanov's orders to put Estonia on the Soviet track. 

One of the first acts of the "government" was to seize control 
of the press and all communications media. All public meetings 
except those ordered by the regime were prohibited. The Estonian 
Home Guard, all political parties and patriotic clubs, all educational, 
social, and even scientific organizations (comprising about 4,000 
groups) were ordered to disband. The Estonian army was reorganiz- 
ed and placed under the control of the Red Army. Hi^h ranking 
Estonian government officials were dismissed from their posts 
and disappeared in N.K.V.D. (Soviet secret police) dungeons. 

Yet these acts were only a prelude to an unparalleled interna- 
tional outrage: the Soviet attempts to "legitimize" the annexation 
of Estonia, as well as Latvia and Lithuania. Let us closely examine 
the sequence of these attempts. 

I. Zhdanov's puppet government ordered that parliamentary elec- 
tions be held on July 14 and 15 of 1940. Elections, moreover, were 
to be exempt from judicial review as they had been in the past. 
Needless to say, this gave the Communists a free hand to tamper 
with the ballot boxes. 

Members of former Estonian political parties, brave enough to 
place their names on the list of candidates, became the object of 
intimidation and threats. Most "unofficial" candidates withdrew. 
Those who persisted were ruled off the ballot list at the last 
moment by a newly created (Communist) Supreme Elections Com- 


mittee. The final slate of candidates consisted only of members of 
the hastily created (Communist) Estonian Working People's League. 

The main issue of the Communist "platform," aside from the 
usual promises of better economic conditions, was "the preservation 
of independence for Estonia." 

The elections took place in an atmosphere of terror and intimida- 
tion. According to the Supreme Elections Committee, 81,6 per cent 
of the electorate had cast their ballots. Of that total, 92.9 per cent 
were said to have voted for the Communist slate. 

II. On July 21, 1940, the newly elected "parliament" met for its 
first session. The halls of the parliament buildings were filled with 
agents of the N.K.V.D. and Soviet soldiers; Soviet tanks were 
stationed outside. 

The parliament adopted four resolutions: 

1) On the first day, by unanimous vote (as Communists always 
do), the delegates renamed Estonia a Soviet Socialist Republic, 

2) All power in Estonia was relegated to "the working people 
of town and country" as represented by councils of Working People's 


3) On the second day, again by unanimous consent, the delegates 
voted to petition the Soviet Union to admit Estonia into the Soviet 
Union "as a constituent Republic." 

4) On the last day of the session, July 23, 1940, the delegates 
resolved that "all the land together with natural deposits, all forests, 
lakes and rivers" of Estonia are public property. In addition, "all 
banks together with their assets, all large industrial enterprises, 
mines and means of transportation are [hereby] declared public 
property, the property of the state." 

Needless to say, the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union wasted 
no time in "complying with the wishes" of the Estonian people. 
Estonia was "admitted" as a constituent republic of the Soviet 
Union on August 6, 1940. (Lithuania and Latvia shared the same 
"privilege" on August 3rd and 5th, respectively.) 

These fake elections had thus "sanctified" the puppet parliament 
as a representative of the Estonian people. Nest, all the wealth of 
the nation was made the property of the Communist state. Finally, 
the puppet government handed the state (and all its newly acquired 
possessions) over to the Soviet Union by petitioning to become a 
"constituent republic" — a part of the Soviet Union. 

On July 23, 1940, Konstantin Pats, the President of the Republic, 
was forced to abdicate. He had not been allowed to resign earlier 
even though the constitutional government he headed had been 
destroyed by the "revolution" as a "bourgeois state machine." As 

soon as he abdicated, he was arrested and deported to the Soviet 
Union. His fate is unknown to this day. 

Most former civil servants were replaced by Communist appointees. 
The government business, however, was now carried out by "experts" 
from the Soviet Union, who occupied mostly the secondary posts of 
assistants and alternates of the heads of departments, but were the 
real power behind the scene, Estonians were retained as figure- 
heads in charge of government offices merely to convey the im- 
pression that the nation was governed by Estonians themselves. 

From the very onset of the Soviet occupation the N.K.V.D. initiated 
mass arrests and executions of unwanted elements. The arrests were 
usually carried out at night — to heighten the sense of terror through- 
out the nation. Soon all existing prisons were filled to capacity and 
new ones had to be constructed. Finally, on the night of June 13, 
1941, N.K.V.D- soldiers descended on thousands of Estonian homes. 
According to lists compiled previously in the greatest secrecy, they 
seized thousands of individuals and families, loaded them into 
trucks, and took them to "special camps" in Soviet Eastern regions. 
Husbands were separated from their families and sent to different 
forced labor camps, unknown to their wives and children. 

The order for this mass arrest had been signed by Ivan Serov, 
Acting People's Commissar for State Security of the U.S.S.R. In 
his extensive instructions for the operation he cited "expulsion of 
anti-Soviet elements from the Baltic Republics" as justification for 
the arrests. 

During the German occupation of the country (1941-1944), an 
Estonian Committee established the identities and the number of the 
victims of terror under the first Soviet occupation. The Committee's 
findings are as follows: 

1) Arrested: 7,926 persons. Of these 1,950 (including 206 women) 
were later exhumed from mass graves. They had been shot in 
the neck. The remaining were either sent to the Soviet Union 
or their graves have not been found in Estonia. 

2) Deported: 10,205 persons of all ages — half of them women. 

3) Missing and unaccounted for; 1,101 persons. 

4) The Soviets drafted 33,304 Estonians into the Red Army. Upon 
retreat, these men were taken into the Soviet Union. Similarly, 
the former Estonian Army (consisting of about 5,573 men 
at this time) was also sent into the Soviet Union. Findings 
further indicate that 1,858 Estonians had been sent to the 
Soviet Union as "volunteer workers." 

The Committee found that 59,967 Estonians — a majority of them 
young men and women as well as government leaders and skilled 
workers — had been lost by Estonia. This number represented roughly 



5 per cent of Estonia's total population at that 

5. A Change of Captors: German Occupation 

On June 21, 1941, war broke out between the Soviet Union and 
Germany. As the German Blitzkrieg swung north, the Red Army 
began retreating out of Estonia into Russia's interior. 

While the Soviet troops were moving out, and before the Germans 
arrived, thousands of young Estonians escaped into the forests 
There they formed guerrilla bands to fight for Estonia's independence 
from the Soviets. In part their efforts were successful. By their 
presence they curbed the "scorched earth" policy of the retreating 
Soviets and thus saved considerable property from destruction. But 
their hope of restoring freedom to Estonia was to be completely 
thwarted by both the Germans and the Soviets. 

The Germans opposed restoration of independence for Estonia 
Rather than destroying the police state mechanism the Soviets had 
created, they kept a large part of it for their own use. Despite this 
disappointment, however, Estonians continued to regard the Soviet 
Union as their primary enemy. Near the end of the war thousands 
oi young Estonians even joined special Estonian units in the Ger- 
man army to fight against the Soviets, hoping to regain independence 
for Estonia. 

6. Again the Soviets; 1944 

In 1944, a near panic seized the Estonian people, with memories 

aii S ° Viet terr ° r fresh in their minds ' when tt became clear that. 
Allied victories in Western Europe would result in Soviet reoccupat- 
lon of the Baltic area. Nearly 65,000 Estonians seized the initiative 
by escaping their homeland to take refuge in Sweden or Germany 
Many more would have followed them had there been means of 
eseape. Thousands of Estonians perished trying to cross the Baltic 
Sea in any kind of vessel that would float. Often too many people 
crowded on board and the boats sank in heavy seas. Some of these- 
escaping crafts were sunk by Soviet submarines and airplanes. 

The Baltic people's fears were fully justified. When the German 
lines moved back the Soviets surged into Estonia with vengeance 
On March 6 and 7 of 1944, for example, Soviet artillery and air 
raids completely destroyed the ancient city of Narva^famous for 
its medieval architecture and cultural monuments. At the time of 
the Soviet bombardment, and known to the Soviets all 
German troops had left the city. The bombardment was thus a 
useless act of destruction. Tallinn fared somewhat better than Narva 
Only a quarter of that historic city was destroyed by Soviet bombard- 
ment on the night of March 9, 1944. 


1. Mass Deportations 

DIRECTLY BEHIND the advancing Soviet front lines came the 
hated N.K.V.D. Once again midnight arrests and murder filled 
the country with terror. The reign of terror did not cease with the 
end of the war but continued, culminating in a mass deportation in 
March of 1949. 

For obvious reasons it is impossible to determine the number of 
victims by this deportation. Eye-witness reports indicate that it 
was several times more numerous than that of June, 1941. The main 
aim of the second deportation was to frighten Estonian peasants 
into joining the kolkhozes (collective farms), which the Soviets 
were establishing at that time. 

While the deportation of 1949 marked the end of mass purges 
in Estonia, Soviet terror did not end. The following year a campaign 
was opened to weed out the "bourgeois nationalists." This campaign 
was directed mainly at Communist party ranks and was paralleled 
by a similar purge in the Soviet Union at the same time. Many 
Estonian Communists, including the First Secretary of the Estonian 
Party, were ousted from their posts and sent to forced labor camps 
in the Soviet Union. 

Since Stalin's death in March, 1953, some of this brutality has 
been eased. Some of previously deported Estonians, who somehow 
managed to survive the prison camps, have been pardoned and 
allowed to return to their native country. 

It must be noted, however, that many of the returnees have been 
pardoned only in a legal sense. The Communist regime in Estonia 
considers them outcasts and has callously refused to provide many 
of them with employment and housing. Large numbers of them have 
been forced to return to the Soviet Union in search of work. 



One may ask for the reasons of such brutality. It is one matter 
to defeat a nation by military force, to pillage its wealth, and to 
keep it under control, as, for instance, the Nazis did during their 
occupation. Yet it is another matter to extend brutalities over a 
period of many years. 

The answer is rather simple. Methodic brutality seeks to demo- 
ralize all opposition — to bring an entire nation to its knees. Its aim 
is to destroy that group of Estonians who are the mainstay of 
national independence and to make the people malleable for ensuing 

Accordingly, after Estonia had been brought to its "knees" through 
terror, there remained the task of remodelling the country along 
Soviet lines. 

One of the most heavy-handed methods used to accomplish this 
task is reflected in Estonia's population statistics. According to a 
census conducted by the independent Estonian government the 
population of the country in 1934 was 1,126,413, In January, 1959, 
the latest Soviet census gave the population of Estonia as 1,197,000 
(in full thousands.) Broken down into national origin figures the 
statistics are as follows: 





992,370 (88.1%) 
92,656 (8.2%) 
41,397 (3.7%) 


873,000 (73.0%) 

260,000 (21.7%) 

63,000 (5.3%) 

The number of Estonians has thus decreased by nearly 
120,000 people in the 25 year interval between the two censuses. The 
reason for this population drop is clear: purges, deportations, 
murders, and refugees. 

At the same time, the number of Russians in Estonia has increas- 
ed by 167,000. This figure does not include White Russians or 
Ukrainians. All told, over 240,000 people from the Soviet Union 
have "migrated" into Estonia. 

The effect of such an influx is obvious. The people from the 
Soviet Union bring with them their own customs, their outlooks, 
and in most cases, a loyalty to ''Mother Russia"— whatever her 
government. The result is dilution of Estonian nationalism— a classic 
case of colonialism in action. 

2. Attack on Religion 

Another phase of the sovietization of Estonia is a wp»ncerted Com- 
munist effort to wipe out religious worship and "religious prejudices," 

i.e., faith itself. Communist dogma considers any religion an "opiate 
of the people." 

In independent Estonia, church and state had been separate. The 
Lutheran Protestant Church, representing the vast majority of 
Estonians, was headed by an Archbishop and consistory (church 
council). The minority Greek Orthodox Church was headed by a 
Metropolitan associated with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of 

On the surface the situation has remained much the same under 
Soviet rule. The only apparent difference is that the Estonian 
Greek Orthodox Church is now subordinated to the Moscow Patriar- 
chate and the once renowned Department of Theology at the Uni- 
versity of Tartu has been disbanded. 

In reality, however, even though the Soviet Constitution decrees 
separation of church and state, the church in Estonia has been 
deprived of all freedoms. Religious books of any kind have been 
eliminated from all libraries and their publication is forbidden. 
All religious books and periodicals are banned from the mails. Teach- 
ing religion to children is punishable under the Criminal Code. 

Furthermore, a vigorous anti-religious campaign is led in the 
Soviet press in which the church and religion are described as 
"survivals of the past," detrimental to the cause of communism. 
A multitude of specially schooled propagandists lecture on the "pre- 
judices of religion" throughout Estonia. 

The church and its pastors occupy the lowest rung in the Com- 
munist society. Many churches have been closed. Although church 
attendance is not officially prohibited, no person aspiring to a 
responsible job can risk attending church. For many people, especially 
those working in education, visiting a church is tantamount to 
losing one's job. In 1962, for example, two teachers in South 
Estonia, who were secretly married in a church, were instantly 
dismissed when the authorities found out about their "crime". 

In their fight against the church the Communists have introduced 
secular ceremonies, reminiscent of church ritual. Autumn youth 
festivals are held at the time of traditional church confirmations. 
There are civil wedding ceremonies, funerals featuring secular music 
and speakers, etc. 

Strong-arm methods were also used against the clergy. During 
the first Soviet occupation two Lutheran pastors, one Methodist 
pastor, and five Orthodox priests were executed. Many churchmen 
were deported to the U.S.S.R. During the second occupation clergy- 
men were deported in large numbers. In their zeal the Soviets even 
deported Archbishop Pahn, a man they themselves had appointed. 

Many churchmen escaped Estonia before the returning Soviet 
army. Among them were the heads of the Estonian Lutheran and 



Orthodox Churches, 70 Lutheran pastors, and a considerable number 
of Orthodox priests. 

3. Attack on Education 

_ Estonia's educational system became a prime target of sovietiza- 
tion. During Estonia's independence the government sought to make 
educational facilities available to all. Six years of free elementary 
education were compulsory. Students could then go on to three 
years of junior high school. Both the junior high school and the 
regular high schools were divided into two types— one stressed the 
sciences, while the other emphasized liberal arts. All schools emphasiz- 
ed responsible, independent thinking and high moral standards 
_ Because laws permitted each national minority to conduct classes 
in its native language, many schools taught exclusively in languages- 
other than Estonian. 

During the 1939-40 school year a total of 122,000 students were 
enrolled m 1,346 schools of general education. Teaching and ad- 
ministrative staffs for these schools numbered 4,956. In addition to 
these general schools, additional 15,032 students were enrolled in 
177 vocational schools. 

During the same academic year Estonia had about 33 people per 
10,000 enrolled at the university level. (The figure in 1926 had 
been 44 per 10,000 but it had declined because of saturation of 
Estonian facilities and since many Estonian students were attracted 
by technical universities in Western Europe.) Even so, the 1939 
figure of 33 students per 10,000 compares more than favorably with 
the 27 per 10,000 in West Germany and 16 per 10,000 in England 
in 1957. 

The result of independent Estonia's stress on universal education 
is clearly evident in the following comparison. According to a 1934 
census, illiteracy among Estonians over 10 years of age was only 
2.1 per cent. Meanwhile, in the Soviet Union illiteracy for the 9 
to 49 age group in 1939 was 10.9 per cent. 

When the Soviets occupied Estonia, one of their first moves in 
education was to begin teaching "Marxism-Leninism" in accordance' 
with Communist dogma. Still another change was to "redirect" 
educational influence from West to East. Independent Estonia was 
a Western-oriented nation. Western languages were taught as part 
of the regular school curriculum. The Soviets continue teaching 
Western languages, but to a much lesser degree. The reasons for 
teaching English or German now is for the express purpose of 
enabling students to read Western scientific and technological litera- 
ture* The teaching of Russian has been immensely expanded. 

Since the Soviets stress industrialization at all costs the educational 


system has been enlisted to provide technical personnel. The teaching 
of science and technology has been given priority over the liberal 


Aside from these changes in curriculum the Soviets first in- 
creased elementary education from the pre-war level of 6 years 
to 7 years. Later, in the academic year 1962-63, they increased it 
to 8 years. At the same time, however, the number of years required 
for a full secondary education has been reduced from 12 to 10 years. 
The Soviets also reduced the total number of schools in Estonia. 
In 1939-40 there were 1,346 schools of general education. By 1959-60 
the number of general education and adult education schools 
had decreased to 1,193. Part of the decrease is readily explained by 
the fact that about 5 per cent of Estonia's territory was transferred 
to Soviet Russia, Schools in the severed territory are no longer 
counted as Estonia's. 

The number of students in elementary and secondary schools has 
increased from 122,000 in 1939-40 to 178,000 in 1959-60. However, 
if we consider the increase in compulsory education from 6 to 7 
years, the increase in population, and the comparatively large 
number of settlers from the Soviet Union seeking supplementary 
general education, this increase in the total number of students 
is rather insignificant. 

On the university level there has been a substantial increase in 
student enrolment under the Soviets. Not counting teacher trainees, 
the number of students enrolled in Estonian universities in 1939-40 
was 3,745. By 1956-57 the number had increased almost threefold 
to 9,800. This rapid growth is almost entirely due to Soviet regime's 
demands for industrial and technical talent. This is most apparent 
in a breakdown of enrolment statistics. In 1939-40, for example, the 
number of students enrolled in engineering, agriculture, mathematics 
and natural sciences totaled 912. In 1959-60, with the new stress on 
industrialization, the number increased to 6,763. 

As in most Communist-dominated countries, not only the educa- 
tional system but the students themselves are closely controlled by 
the regime. One way of doing this is through the "student report/' 
a dossier on every student enrolled in any school. These reports 
contain information about each student's participation in Communist 
youth activities {Pioneer or Komsomol organizations) and his con- 
tribution to work projects during schools vacations. Whenever a 
student applies for a job he must present his dossier. And, since 
the employment committee always includes several Party members 
the applicant's participation in Communist youth activities is an 
absolute must if he wants a decent job. 

Similar controls are evident in the education law passed on 
December 24, 1958. The law requires all non-university students to 


Participate m "work training" for at least two hours a week. In 
addition students m the 3-6 grades are required to attend two 
classes of "socially useful work" each week, while students in grades 

Lry year™ Perf ° rm tW ° W66kS ° f "P roducti °n practice" 

Furthermore, students are required to hold regular full time 
jobs dunng the last three years of secondary education and dur ng 
the first two years of higher education. 8 

Aside from revamping the regular educational system, the Com- 
munists have introduced a special kind of control In 1959 thTy 
started a new type of boarding school whose main purpose is to 
educate children in the "true spirit of communism/' From the 
mifal two schools with 600 children, these "boarding schools" have 
been increased to 15 with a total enrolment of 5,800 students. 
In 1960 state expendrture per student in these boarding schools 

r-Wulfr" I ,"™ rUWe !,- At the Same time State expenditure 

; Df Ua I, S n » ^averaged about 80 new rubles per student. 

TO ZLl \i 6 ;" depende]lt Est ^ian government spent about 

lcSoT S yst°e U m h ) ly 14 ° ^ rUWeS ' P6r Student * «» ^ral 

4. Attack on Estonian Culture 

F J n 0,i . tica ' ind 1 ependence brou » ht ab0 "t a cultural explosion in 
Estoma. The flowering of Estonian letters was evident in the prose 
r*t /n* ! 1 Ta „ mmsaare > A "E^t Malk, Albert Kivikas; in the 
poetry of Gustav Suits, Henrik Visnapuu and Marie Under; in 
literary criticism of Freidebert Tuglas, Ants Oras, and in the 
creations of many others. Some of these writers and poets gained 
lTnguTges " reC ° gmtl0n as their works wer * translated into other 

Most major Estonian cities formed professional theater groups, 
and Tallinn had several outstanding resident companies with highly 
competent actors and directors. Virtually every community had an 
amateur theater group. 

In the fine arts Estonia had a well established school of painters 
and sculptors (August Weinberg, Johan Kohler, Amandus Adamson) 
even before she gamed independence. When Estonia became free 
many disciples of these masters (Ants Laikman, Peet Aren Pau 
Burmann, Jaan Kort, etc.) joined and guided the younger generation 
of painters and sculptors. Within the newly created academies of" 

"prelentel ** *****' ^ ^ ° f the 192 °' S and 1930 s ' ™" 

In architecture as in painting and sculpture, Estonia had a rich 

and varied tradition. Fine examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Renais- 



aance, Baroque, Classic and modern buildings made the cities of 
Tallinn, Narva and Tartu open museums of architectural history. 

The government of independent Estonia encouraged cultural 
activity. The Culture Fund Law was enacted in 1925 to lend 
financial support to the development of the arts. And in 1935 a 
special pension law was passed for people engaged in the creative 

The results of both the natural interest in the arts as well as 
the openhanded support of such activity by the government is clearly 
demonstrated by the comparative statistics below: 

Number of Literary Works Published 




per 10,000 


























Much of this cultural activity had a strong nationalistic flavor. 
That is why the Soviets, when they occupied Estoma in 1940, made 
an immediate effort to curb cultural life and then to redirect it 
along their lines. 

As soon as the Soviets have taken command of the nation all 
cultural organizations were branded as being "hostile to the people." 
Literary clubs were allowed to exist only according to Communist 
directives. In July, 1940, for example, Communist Party orders 
created the Organizational Committee of the Soviet Estonian Writers' 
League to replace the original League of Writers. 

The press, radio, and theaters were also attacked immediately. 
On the very first day of the occupation, editors were replaced, 
publications renamed (to become The Communist, The Bolshevik of 
Vaiga, etc.) and their contents turned into propaganda. Theaters 
opened their 1940 season with plays prescribed by the Communist 
regime. Movie theaters, many of which had previously shown films 
imported from the West, now limited themselves to Soviet productions. 

The Soviets compiled lists of "forbidden books" and "purged" 
them from all public libraries, book stores and stocks of publishing 
houses. Stocks of several books already printed but not yet on sale 
were either destroyed or the authors were commanded to change 
them to comply with Soviet dogma. Control over all publishing 


?wX e r / eSted ^ the Comm ™^t-^eated State Publishing House 

^l^A V^ PerS ° n Wh ° had personal ™^* with the West were' 
muzzled by heavy censorship of the mails ) ' 

acSytas* tlS C ° nCent r ted attack on all cultural and related 
f^o- 7n tw Commumst principle of "socialist realism " Accord 

Party to re SV^ PUrP0S£ °/ art is to — e the Commun 
party, to re-educate the masses, and to present proof that Marxism 

of Sciences of the Estonian ^p w the Academ y 

intensive and ^^2^ ^0^ SIS TZ 

had been very useful to Estonia 189 ° 

& ss£S«M3 repass party in 1950. Those found "guilty" were pureed from 
party ranks and thrown out of artists' unions Tb"meSr 
could™ longer make a living as artists. L^w^ deport to 

thosT'oiT t twist v hese ^*^wrLS 

SmpatE. gU1 ' ty We C ° mmUniSts ° r Ie « Communist 

^KiSSi s e r: th ^=%s -s 

the Soviet Umon and Estonia) a general loosening of restrictions on 
cultural activity. In practice this meant that the preSet Cits 
of reahsm could now be extended. Poetry deahng with 1 feS 

sectors' of Soviet if. t ^"T Pemitted t0 Criticize non-political 

Commune ideology, were al.owed to be 'translated »<] ? published 

trend' AtTel^rf °' ^JT^ a reversal of this liberal 
January lot T,w ^^ ° f <? e Estonia " Communist Party in 
, a . ' rst Secre tary I. Kabin, presented the Partv', 

jushhcatwn of the reversal of cultural "liberalization." Element 

° R „if rt T IS > natl °r IiStS '" Kabin said > " wit « their shouting abou 
Russ.ficaton' are striving to eliminate from Estonian national cultur. 
its sociah s content Such attitudes still exist among some mmS 

& ?ss i«w 'tiff gen ^ and we cannot ~ «* 

coexistence of the two systems does not mean that the 


struggle against bourgeois ideology can be considered of secondary 

Kabin's statement was not followed by extensive purges of writers. 
A few editors were fired and others appointed to replace them. 
Nevertheless the warning was ominous enough to make all Estonian 
publications adhere to the Party line. 

The most recent cultural repression came in March of 1963 when 
Nikita Khrushchev attacked all schools of arts and letters outside 
socialist realism. He reiterated the Communist promise that the 
purpose of all art is to aid the party in building communism and in 
creating the "new Soviet man." 

Such restrictions have done much to demoralize the artistic com- 
munity in Estonia, They also evoked fierce resistance. In the fall 
of 1944, when there was an opportunity to escape Soviet oppression, 
more than half the active members of the Estonian literary com- 
munity fled to the West. Among them were Marie Under, Gustav 
Suits, and Henrik Visnapuu — the most prominent writers in Estonia. 
Numerous scientists, artists and other persons active in the cultural 
field were also among the refugees. One of the more prominent 
poets of the younger generation, Heiti Talvik, and the most prominent 
Estonian playwright, Hugo Raudsepp, died in 1948 in a Soviet jail. 

The publication of new works is an important measure of the 
vitality of cultural life. Let us compare the number of new works 
published by refugees in the West with those published in Estonia. 
Refugee literature is supported by 63,000 refugees scattered all over 
the world and does not enjoy any public support or assistance. A 
comparison of the number of original works published by the 
refugees and in occupied Estonia in the years 1944-1959 is shown 
in the following tables. 




Published abroad 


in Estonia 









9 t 400 

Short stories 






















DURING the Second World War, and the years following it, 
radical changes have occurred in the Estonian economy under 
the Soviet regime. 

Soviet economic policy in Estonia, as in other occupied countries 
has centered on the development of industry at the expense of almost 
all other sectors of economy. In Estonia this meant that a pre- 
dominantly agricultural economy (60 per cent of the combined in- 
dustrial and agricultural output provided by farming) has been 
forced to become a primarily industrial one. Industrial production 
accounts for 80 per cent of all production in Estonia to-day. 

Total production of goods in Estonia has increased almost three 
times over its pre-war level. Mass production methods introduced 
by the Soviets have boosted productivity which, in turn* has increased 
output. At the same time, however, the purchasing power of the 
average wage (for food, clothing, and footwear) has dropped to 
about half the pre-war level. 

A significant side effect of this industrialization has been a rapid 
urbanization of Estonia. In 1939 the urban population comprised 
only 33 per cent of the total population. By 1962, 58 per cent of 
the total population lived in urban areas. 

Let us examine the developments in each major sector of Estonia's 

1, Agriculture 

In 1939 there were 139,980 farms in Estonia with a total area 
of 3,179,000 hectares. The average farm consisted of 22.7 hectares 
or 56 acres of land. Only 442 farms had more than 100 hectares 
of land. 

Pre-war agriculture was characterized by extensive animal 
husbandry. Estonian farmers not only supplied the domestic market 


— . «, s r«vs ssl iss?a ptocte * 

Table 1 

Some Basic Indicators of Estonian Agricultural Development 

1920-1959 ' 

Iner* (-\-) or 
1939 Increase 1959 decrease f^) 
% vs. 1939 


Sown area, 1000 ha. 

of that grain 
Grain prod., 1000 tons 
Potato prod., 1000 tons 

Meat prod., 1000 tons 
Egg prod., mill. pes. 

Cattle, thousand 
of that cows 

Pigs, thousand 

Sheep, thousand 

Horses, thousand 

Tractors, thousand 

691 3 ) 

454 1 ) 
477 2 ) 

41 2 ) 












486 3 ) 
471 3 ) 
275 a ) 
76 :; ) 
7.4- 1 ) 

— 23 

— 53 

— 50 
+ 36 

— 18 
+ 19 
+ 21 

— 31 

— 39 
+ 7 

— 60 

— 65 

r,i?S I'T ?J? d J igorous development of Estonian agriculture was 
Jn bitt r S % T Vertmg individuaI fa ™ s into »"ectives was ong 

J ) In 1919. 

*) Average of 1920-1924. 

3 ) On January 1st, 1960. 


total collectivization in the spring of 1949 was preceded by brutal 
mass deportations of farmers and their families. 

During the collectivization drive farmers were compelled to hand 
over, without compensation, virtually all farm animals and agricultural 
equipment. They were allowed to keep one cow, two pigs, some sheep, 
poultry and garden tools. Once they became members of the kolkhozes 
(collective farms) and did full time work they were entitled to 0,6 
hectares of land for private use. (These are the famous "garden 
plots" that are responsible for most of the green vegetables reaching 
the cities as well as for countless headaches for kolkhoz managers. 
Workers have been known to work at half speed all day long on the 
collectively held land and then to rush home and to work full" speed 
on their garden plots.) 

Theoretically, all collectivized animals and equipment that had been 
taken into the collectives still belonged to those farmers who remained 
in the collective. But if the collectives were turned into, or attached 
to existing state farms, then these animals and equipment automatic- 
ally became state property. When this type of conversion takes place, 
no compensation is paid to members of the collectives. These 
members, of course, are the original owners of the property. 

The practice of converting collectives into state farms is now 
widespread in Estonia. In 1949, for example, there were 2,898 small 
collective farms. In 1953, only 914 collectives (with 762,300 hectares 
of sown area) remained, while 108 state farms (with 47,300 hectares 
of sown land) had been created. By 1959 the collective farm sown 
area dropped to 503,000 hectares while the state farm share rose 
to 176,000 hectares. (Total sown area, including privately cultivated 
garden plots, decreased from 886,000 hectares in 1953 to 761,000 
hectares in 1959.) By the end of 1960 the number of collectives had 
decreased to 648. 

According to Soviet statements, this conversion from private to 
collective farms and, subsequently, to state farms was to increase 
production and improve agriculture. Nothing of the sort has happen- 
ed. If anything, as Table 1 on page 34 indicates, there has been 
an outright regression in agricultural output. 

Part of the blame for this decline can be placed on the Soviet 
system of collectivism. Farmers accustomed ■ to working their own 
land have little incentive to work equally as hard on land they no 
longer own. On the other hand, even if the system were 
acceptable to the farmers, Soviet state planning has 
deliberately overlooked the needs of the agrarian economy in favor 
of rapid industrial development. 

In 1939, for example, there were about 218,000 horses on Estonian 
farms. By 1959 this number had decreased to 76,000. At the same 
time the number of available tractors has increased from 1.800 in 


1939 to 7,400 in 1959. If we divide the decrease in the number of 
horses by the increase in the number of tractors (5,600) we find 
that one tractor has replaced every 25 horses. 

One might note that in the U.S. one tractor has replaced every 
2.0 horses or mules (in 1941-1959). In Denmark the ratio is one 
tractor for every 4.4 horses. 

If one assumes the working capacity of one tractor to be equal 
to 8 working horses (working horses constitute, on the average 
78 per cent of the total number of horses) one finds that power 
tor field work has decreased in Estonia by 36 per cent in the 20 
years from 1939 to 1959. 

The negative effect of state planning and the lack of initiative 
on the part of the farmers, forced into collectives and state farms 
need not be compared against Western standards of agricultural 
production. According to Soviet data, for example, about 60,000 
hectares (3 per cent of all agricultural land or 8 per cent of sown 
area) was still in private hands in 1959. Tillers of this land account- 
ed for 47 per cent of the total potato crop, 54 per cent of the 
meat production, 47 per cent of all milk production, and 71 per cent 
oi all egg production for that year. 



Production of Milk, Meat, Potatoes and Eggs, 
by Categories of Farms in 1959 

1000 1. % 

1000 1, % 

1000 1. % 


mill. % 

Sovkhozes 170 14.2 120 14.7 14.5 16.3 14.7 7 2 

Other state farms 21 1.7 11 1,4 1.7 19 3 8 19 

Kolkhozes 439 36.7 299 36-8 25.1 28^2 40*8 200 

Private plots 567 47.4 383 47.1 47.7 53.6 144.7 70 9 

Total 1197 100.0 813 100.0 89,0 100.0 204.0 100,0 

Within the past few years the output of grain, potatoes, and milk 
has somewhat increased. Production of meat, on the other hand 
decreased considerably in 1962. In general, the agrarian economy of 
Estonia is m a stalemate and it may very well remain so unless 
adequate machinery, equipment, fertilizers and other aids are provid- 
ed by state planners. 

2. Industry 

When independent Estonia and the U.S.S.R. concluded the peace 
treaty of 1920 it appeared that the two nations were about to enter 
a period of tranquility and neighborliness. Accordingly, Estonia 


envisioned that her colossal eastern neighbor would become a market 
for Estonian goods. 

These hopes were in vain. The Soviet Union simply refused to buy 
anything Estonian industries produced. 

As a result Estonia was compelled to reorganize her industrial 
complex, create new industries, and find outlets for them in the 
Western world. By the middle 1920's many industries were success- 
fully converted to make new products for new markets. Three ship- 
yards and a railway car factory had to be dismantled for lack of 

As in most countries, over-all industrial production declined in 
Estonia during the world wide depression of the early 1930's. In 
spite of this, Estonian industry registered growth. The industrial 
index for factories employing 20 or more workers rose 97 per cent 
in the ten year span from 1928 to 1938. Productivity among workers 
in this category rose 26 per cent and real wages increased 27.7 per cent. 

Moreover, it was during this period that Estonia succeeded in 
establishing an oil shale industry. After many years of experiment- 
ing, the process of distilling oil from oil shale was sufficiently 
perfected during the early I930*s to make oil shale mining economically 
attractive. By 1939, nearly 1,653,000 tons of oil shale were mined 
and some 170,000 tons of oil extracted from it. 

During the late 1930's overall industrial growth began to accelerate. 
By 1937, a variety of industries, which now relied heavily on 
Western European and domestic markets, provided full time employ- 
ment for over 82,500 workers. 

By the time of the Soviet invasion, Estonia had a sound, though 
modest, industrial complex. The German invasion and subsequent 
retreat did little damage to the productive capacity of the nation. 
Some oil shale mines and textile manufacturing plants were damaged, 
but on the whole the Soviets captured a relatively intact industrial 
capacity when they invaded Estonia for the second time in 1944. 

Using this industrial base as a springboard the Soviets began an 
intensive drive to increase production. According to their own data, 
total industrial output in Estonia increased 10.3 times from 1940 to 
1959. The released growth statistics for 1940, 1960 and 1961 (15 
per cent, 12 per cent and 10.4 per cent, respectively) alleged that 
the 1961 industrial production in Estonia surpassed the 1939 level 
by 14.6 times. 

This is not entirely true. The Soviet method of accounting — 
adding the output of individual industrial plants and showing "gross 
industrial production," distorts the actual output levels. If, however, 
one computes the net output at comparable prices for the same period 
one finds that industrial production has not grown 14.6 times but 
about six times. 


Increasing production six times Is still a considerable achievement 

2Tm7? I We haW aIready "»"*»«* that agriculture was 

completely ignored m favor of expanding industry. Similarly, up 
to 1957, little or no funds were spent on residential housing The 

iTolnduXy ^^ theSe SeCt ° rS ° f the eC ° n0my ™ S Siph0 ^ ed off 
Moreover before the war most of Estonian industry operated on 
a one shift a day basis. When the Soviets took over they began 
running plants with two shifts^thereby doubling production Skilled 
workers from the U.S.S.R. proper we attracted" tSrfSS 
working conditions and higher living standards in Estonia. Also 
when the big push to collectivize the farms was put in effect' 
thousands of farmers moved into the cities. With this increase in 
manpower plus injected capital, industry had no choice but to grow 
_ The table below, computed in physical volume of industrial product- 
ion, charts the course of industrial development under the Soviets. 
Table 3 

Output of Some Industrial Goods in Estonia 
an 1939, 1959 and 1961, Physical Volume and Indices (1939=100) 



Volume Ind. 

Volume Ind. 

Electric energy, mill, kwh 

Oil shale, 1000 t. 

Oil shale gas, mill, m 3 

Cement, 1000 t. 

Glass, 1000 m 2 

Cellulose, 1000 t. 

Paper, 1000 t. 

Cotton fabrics, mill. m. 
Linen fabrics, 1000 m. 
Wool fabrics, 1000 m. 
Butter, 1000 t. 
Beer, mill. decaL 
Electric motors up 

to 100 kw., 1000 pes. 2 

Excavators, pes. 

Road graders, 

Power transformers, 1000 kVa — 














































K £ "S"? of the Narva Hydroelectric station of about 

b) Fini^ri 7h Wh ; C K ™ S T tirdy directed to the Soviet Union 

' ™ft$k CCtt m fabriM; the total out P ut of wtton fabrics in 1B58 

E-ffi^i , y&s 19S1 the estimated °« — 

c) New production. 


Some of the highlights of this enforced development include: 

1. Electrical energy. The highest rate of growth took place in 
this sector of the economy. In addition to the already existing power 
plants at Tallinn, Pussi and Ellamaa the Soviets constructed large 
plants in Kohtla-Jarve and Ahtme with a total output of about 
1,000,000,000 kwh. The still unfinished Baltic Electric Station at 
Soldino near Narva — which will also use oil shale for fuel — is 
expected to have a capacity of 1,625,000 kwh by 1965. Although a 
large amount of electricity produced in Estonia is siphoned into the 
Soviet Union, total production in this sector is impressive. Estonia 
will be producing over 7,000 kwh per capita in 1966. By contrast, 
the per capita output of electricity in West Germany in 1961 was 
2,260 kwh. 

2. Oil Shale Mining. As it was already noted, oil shale mining 
became economically possible through improved methods of extract- 
ion. The Soviets capitalized heavily on this improvement. In 1939, 
1,700,000 tons of oil shale were mined. By 1961, the figure had 
jumped to 10,300,000 tons. Estonia's oil shale reserves are estimated 
at between 8.6 to 10.5 billion tons. However, unless all side products 
of distillation are used in subsidiary chemical industries, it may not 
be economical to continue oil shale mining for oil and gas distillation, 
but only for fuel in power plants. 

3. Machine tool and metal working industries. Since Estonia 
lacks raw materials, Soviet plans usually stress production of tools 
and machines that have a low metal and high labor content. As a 
result of this policy, Estonia now has a highly developed technical 
industry. Electrical motors are the prime example. In 1961, Estonia 
made 11.2 per cent of all 100 kw or less electrical motors in the 
Soviet Union. In the 100 kw plus category Estonia produced 8 per 
cent of the total output in the U.S.S.R. 

4. Consumer goods. This sector of the economy has lagged behind 
■others. Unlike the machine tool and machinery industry which in 
1959-1961 had a reported growth of 22 per cent annually, or the 
building materials industry (16 per cent annually), consumer goods 
production has been increasing at the slow rate of 4 per cent per year. 

But even at this slow pace of growth Estonia leads the Soviet 
Union in per capita output of consumer goods. In the cotton fabrics 
industry, for example, Estonia produced nearly 88.2 meters of cloth 
for every Estonian in 1961, while comparable figures in the U.S.S.R. 
were 22.6 meters per person. Footwear production in the same year 
was nearly double the per capita output in the Soviet Union. Similar- 
ly, in the food industry Estonia produced nearly 43.2 kg of meat 
per capita in 1961. In the Soviet Union the output was only 19.7 kg 
per capita in the same year. 


Because of the unified wage system, however, Estonians have not 
been able to enjoy the fruits of their high productivity. Most of the 
output is exported to the Soviet Union proper. In 1956, for example 
Estonia produced 137,000,000 meters of cotton fabrics. Of that 
amount, 131,400,000 meters were exported to and only 17,600,000 
meters imported from the Soviet Union. Similar examples exist in 
other Estonian industries. A considerable amount is produced but 
little of it remains because the population cannot afford to purchase it. 

3. The Real Income 

Ultimately most questions of economics must be dealt with in 
terms of real income to the population. For no matter what 
statistics show the production to be, the individual within that society 
is no better off than what he can purchase with the funds he earns. 

Contrary to the practice in independent Estonia, the Soviet regime 
does not publish wage and price statistics. In spite of this, a rough 
comparison of real income is possible if we glean information from 
related Soviet economic data. 

In 1939, the average wage of employees in industrial enterprises 
having more than 5 workers was 80.75 kroons a month. If the 
employee had one dependent he (or she) was exempt from paying 
income taxes. The employee did pay (on an equal basis with his 
employer) a 2 per cent contribution toward health insurance. The 
average direct wage, thus, was 79.13 kroons a month. 

As a citizen and a wage earner the employee received the following 
monthly benefits in addition to his wages. (The years in brackets 
are those for which the respective benefits have been calculated.) 

1) State expenditure on general education: 1.23 kroons (1939- 

2) Work accident benefits: .76 kroons (1935). 

3) Insurance fund for sickness, pregnancy or death : 3 71 kroons 

4) State expenditure on social security and welfare: 2.85 kroons 

These sums were contributed by the state or the employer. If we 
add all the above (totalling 8.55 kroons) to the wage of 79.13 kroons, 
we find that the average worker had an income of 87.68 kroons a 

In 1957, the Soviets published income data for 13 large and 
comprehensive groups of wage earners in Estonia. Computations 
based on this data indicate that the average monthly wage in Estonia 
in 1955 was 70.72 new rubles. An analysis of other Soviet data 
shows that during the following four years the average wages 


increased by about 3.9 per cent. In 1959 the average income stood 
at 73.48 new rubles. 

Since a worker with a wife and one child pays 5.15 rubles in 
income tax and union dues, the average net income was thus 68.33 
rubles per month. (Belonging to a labor union in Soviet Estonia 
is not a matter of choice — employment is contingent on union 

According to 1959 data the average Soviet wage earner was entitled 
to the following state benefits (as a per cent of gross income) : 

1. General education: 2.78 per cent. 

2. Social security and welfare: 8.77 per cent. 

3. Medical care: 5.01 per cent. 

The total amounts to 16.56 per cent of a worker's gross income. 
An analysis of these state expenditures indicates, however, that only 
about 11 per cent were actually benefitting the workers. 

In terms of money these benefits amount to 8.08 rubles per month. 
Adding this amount to the average income one finds that the income 
of the average worker in Estonia in 1959 — both direct and indirect — 
was 76.41 rubles a month. 

By comparing consumer costs of 20 major food prices (bread, milk, 
butter, etc.) in 1939 and 1959, and of clothing and footwear prices, 
we find that the purchasing power of one 1939 kroon is equal to 
the purchasing power of 1.78 new rubles. 

If one divides the average work wage of 76,41 rubles by the 
derived value of the kroon, one finds that the average work wage 
in 1959 is worth only 42,93 1939 kroons. In other words, the purchas- 
ing power of the average worker was roughly 51 per cent less in 
1959 than it was in 1939. 

A favorite Soviet statistical trick (used not only in Estonia but 
in all Soviet-dominated countries) is to point out that housing 
costs have been reduced under the Soviets. Yet even this is a false 
claim if one examines statistics. 

In 1939, industrial workers whose income fell in the 76 to 
100 kroons range spent about 12 per cent of their income on housing. 
This is an average figure that includes rents, water taxes and 
renovation costs. At that time there were about 1.1 to 1.2 persons 
per room. 

In 1959, according to Soviet sources, there were about 6.1 to 
6.6 square meters of "living space" for each Estonian, roughly 
equivalent to %\ persons per room. During that year the average 
Estonian family of four occupying 26 sq. meters of living space paid 
3.48 rubles basic rent per month. If the house they lived in 
was less than 22 years old they paid an additional 15 per cent of 
basic rent. If the house had a bathroom (private or communal) 
the family paid another 8 per cent surcharge. If the building had 


per cent bought in 1939 Tn fLT 7 . ^ the am0Unt the 12 

Since 1959, our year of comparison, there ha* he™ Uui» * 
ment in living standards. In I960 oflml S 5 ^T^ 
were made public On the othlV wi e f^P le > no wage changes 

In 1961 a B Zt ^t • d ' a WOrk incre ase was announced. 

of I 2B 1 t!f 2 fin 6n the °. thW hand ' there was an ° ffi <^I Price increase 

4. Distribution of the Social Product 

Even though output has not increased as much as the Soviet 

vity of md vidual workers. The actual purchasing power and the 
consequent level of consumption per individual, 0E * tlTokn Ud 
has d rop p ed to about half the pre-war level. How, or where did the 
increased production disappear? ' 

Theoretically, the answer should be given in the Estonian q s n 

impossible to determine directly either the source of .era n funds 
or how these funds are eventually used. Taxes collected 2 ^Estonia 

WhiltT arG 1 Pl ^ d int ° the *** Union^ ir y "' 

While the usual indices are not available, analysis is still possible 

fdLTT^ "f Vidual State bud * ets > for stance! one 5P£ 
idea of how much money is available for Estonia and wLre some 

the wT^f?' T°/ dinff t0 ° fficiaI Soviet **«, revenue for 
the 1960 Es onian budget amounted to 302,700,000 new rubles 
State expenditures in Estonia that year reached 296,700 £ ™b£ 


144,300,000 of which amount was earmarked for economic develop- 

Total revenue supplied by Estonia's economy to the treasury of 
the Soviet Union in the same year was considerably higher. Estonia's 
"contribution" consisted of more than tax revenue, either direct or 
indirect. The Communist regime "owns" all enterprises within the 
state. Hence "profits" derived from state industries, railroads, 
stores, restaurants, and so on, must also be counted as "revenue," 
If one includes such revenues for 1960, Estonia's "income" was not 
the officially cited 302,700,000 rubles, but somewhere in the vicinity 
of 726,000,000 rubles. 

Yet even this is not a complete picture. When a collective farm 
is transformed into a state farm, for example, all property of the 
collective farm becomes state property. Therefore all kolkhoz invest- 
ments must also be considered as state income. In 1960, such invest- 
ments totalled 20,000,000 rubles. If one adds this additional amount 
to the 726,000,000 rubles from taxes on state-owned enterprises, 
one finds that total revenue collected in Estonia in 1960 amounted 
to 746,000,000 new rubles. 

During 1960 the Soviet regime made the following expenditures 
in Estonia: 

1. 226,000,000 rubles were spent on capital investment. This in- 
cludes 45,000,000 rubles for the Baltic Thermoelectric plant, 20,000,000 
rubles for investment in collective farms, and other investments 
not included in the Estonian State budget. 

2. For unspecified projects in the national economy of Estonia: 
91,000,000 rubles. 

3. Non-economic ventures: development of socio-cultural activi- 
ties, propaganda agencies, administration costs of rest camps, etc., 
as well as administration costs of government: 137,900,000 rubles. 

The total amount is 456,000,000 new rubles. (The amount quoted 
earlier, 296,700,000 rubles, did not include direct investments by 
individual enterprises). If one subtracts total expenditures from 
our calculated total income, one finds that 290,000,000 more rubles 
were collected than spent. This sum was not returned to Estonia 
but remained in the Soviet Union's treasury. 

Gross personal income for the 453,000 Estonian wage and salary 
earners was considerably lower than the amount of revenue collected 
by the state. Before income taxes and union assessments the gross 
income of Estonian wage earners totalled 399,000,000 rubles. Other 
income (wages of collective farm workers, income from garden plots, 
etc.) brought in an additional 105,000,000 rubles. Thus the total 
gross income for the entire population of Estonia in 1960 was 
504,000,000 rubles. 

In a 1959 study published by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Com- 


mittee Comparison of the United States and Soviet Economics it was 
pointed out that the purchasing power of the ruble could not be 
compared uniformly to that of the U.S. dollar. In 1960 one US 
dollar was worth about 1,37 new rubles if rubles were used to buy 
consumer goods. In the case of investments the dollar could be 
valued at .63 rubles. And, for military expenditures, the dollar 
was worth about .45 rubles. 

By using these relative values of the ruble's purchasing power 
one can arrive at the dollar value of Estonia's gross personal 
income. At the rate of 1.37 rubles to one dollar, Estonia's 1960 
gross personal income of 504,000,000 rubles is worth 368,000,000 
U.fe. dollars. 

■ ^° + ne . co ^ erts the 226,000,000 rubles spent on capital investment 
?n £ ia at year (at the inve stment value of the ruble to the 
dollar, $1.00—63 rubles), the amount is $358,700,000. 

From 1958 to 1960, the annual gross personal income in the United 
States averaged $355,000,000,000. At the same time $67,100,000 000 
yearly were spent on capital investment— or 18.9 per cent of the 
personal income. The same percentage of total gross income to 
Estonians would have amounted to $69,500,000, in capital invest- 

«r n fl 7 rt n a^ T + kn ° W that the figUre WaS n0t $69,500,000 but 
^08,700,000. It is quite clear that the differential between these 
two amounts, $289,200,000, was not invested for the benefit of the 
people of Estonia but in the direct interests of increasing 
the state power. Were this not the case, Estonians would 
now enjoy a much higher standard of living than they do. 

But this is not the end of the story. Apart from military expenses 
there are few figures to acount for the 290,000,000 rubles transferred 
to the so-called Union budget of the Soviet Union. A comparison 
between retail sales' figures for Estonia and those for the entire 
Soviet Union enables one to obtain a rough ratio of what Estonia's 
share should be in contributions to the total military budget. 

The 1960 budget of the Soviet Union called for 9,610,000,000 rubles 
in military expenditures. (It is doubtful that this figure is correct 
U.S. experts estimate that Soviet expenditures for military purposes 
tor that year were nearly double the official figures.) Even if one 
uses the official figure, Estonia's forced contribution to the military 
budget amounted to about 77,600,000 rubles. Converted into US 
dollars at the purchasing power for military products (£1.00=45 
rubles) the amount was $172,400,000. 

If one subtracts the 77,600,000 rubles for military expenditures 
from the 290,000,000 that went to the All-Union budget, 212,400,000 
rubles remain unaccounted for. This amount includes hidden military 
and excessive capital expenditures. By converting this sum into 
dollars at the investment value of the ruble (0.63), one finds that 


at this rate Estonia contributed $337,200,000 to the Soviet Union's 
budget — a sum neither accounted for, nor returned. 

This means that in 1960 $289,200,000 were spent on increasing 
the power of the Soviet regime in Estonia. It also means that 
$172,400,000 of Estonian funds were spent on bolstering the Soviet 
military might, and another $337,200,000 were transferred to the 
Soviet Union without compensation or explanation. All told, a sum 
of nearly $800,000,000, or $560 per man, woman, and child 
in E s t o n i a — was literally expropriated from the population. 

At the same time the gross income of the entire population of 
Estonia was $368,000,000— or $304 per capita. 

5. Conclusion 

In retrospect, the Soviet claim to having increased industrial 
production in Estonia is more or less justified. While the increase 
is not as phenomenal as they claim, it is nonetheless substantial. 
Yet it would be erroneous to assume that this has been due to the 
Soviet system. As we have already noted the Soviets captured a 
well-established industrial base from free Estonia. By running 
double shifts, by bringing more people into urban areas, by in- 
creasing work quotas, by reducing consumption and neglecting hous- 
ing and agriculture, they succeeded in boosting industrial production 
and turning in impressive industrial growth figures. 

But in this very success Estonia stands as a glaring example of 
Communist failure. For these economic accomplishments — the area 
in which the Communists wish to compete with the free world — have 
been disastrous to the people of Estonia. Even if one disregards the 
ignominy of being forced to live under a foreign power, the Estonian 
people are materially worse off now than they were 25 years ago. 



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